Definition of Malagasy in English:



  • 1A native or inhabitant of Madagascar.

    • ‘They promised him that they would ask the President of the French Republic to free the Malagasies.’
    • ‘It's almost like they are mascots in Madagascar, they are what most people, including the Malagasy, think of when they think of Madagascar because they are unique to the island.’
    • ‘His hope is to help the Malagasies be more, well, Malagasy.’
    • ‘We knew that when the French were present, the Malagasies occupied the west side of the island, near the wreck.’
    • ‘The Malagasy giant rat is threatened by habitat loss and competition from introduced black rats.’
    • ‘During the Second World War, Malagasies organized courses in law and established the Law Examinations Center.’
    • ‘Between them, they provided the Malagasy with the Bible in their own language.’
    • ‘Therefore, the educational system copied from that of France had the task of training Malagasies to replace French trained professionals.’
    • ‘Scholars believe the Malagasy have a combination of Indonesian, Malayo-Polynesian, and African roots.’
    • ‘Some Malagasies believe that these original inhabitants still live in the deepest recesses of the forest.’
    • ‘The rebels themselves were responsible for the deaths of 550 Europeans and of approximately 1,900 Malagasies.’
    • ‘Twenty young Canadians travel to Madagascar to work with Malagasies on researching and developing ideas to help protect Madagascar's unique eco-systems.’
    • ‘This it just the beginning though, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Malagasy, helping them to produce even finer quality origin chocolate over the coming years.’
    • ‘The Malagasy, as the inhabitants of the island are known, are mainly descended from the Malay / Indonesian and Polynesian seafarers who were the first arrivals somewhere around 500 ad.’
    • ‘To ask the Malagasies to go to a second round now would be totally incomprehensible to them…’
    • ‘Since Noel often spoke disparagingly of the Malagasy, I was surprised to see him courting a young woman from this family.’
    • ‘Over on the mainland, one in five adults has the virus, while less than 1% of Malagasies are infected.’
    • ‘The Malagasy however still take pride in their ancient royal history and institutions.’
    • ‘Seventy percent of Malagasies live below the poverty line, surviving on less than 1 dollars a day.’
    • ‘But many Malagasies are not aware of the important role chameleons play in their forest habitat.’
  • 2mass noun The Austronesian language of Madagascar, a group of dialects spoken by some 10 million people.

    • ‘From the 15th century to 1823, Malagasy was written with the Arabic Ajami script or Sorabe.’
    • ‘I might skip French this time and jump straight to Malagasy.’
    • ‘Other languages of this type may include Albanian, Malagasy, and Toba Batak.’
    • ‘In the classroom, Malagasy replaced French as the language of instruction and lessons focused on Malagasy, rather than French, culture and history.’
    • ‘Campbell is not only fluent in Malagasy, but also in the less familiar European languages (Welsh, Norwegian) in which some of these records are written.’


  • Relating to Madagascar or its people or language.

    • ‘For seven days we lived the life of traditional Malagasy fishermen.’
    • ‘Besides brick buildings, the missionaries introduced Christianity and formal education, and devised a written version of the Malagasy language.’
    • ‘But then you could spend decades of your life here without fully grasping the complex minutiae of the Malagasy existence.’
    • ‘The juxtaposition of text and imagery was a cause for much joking among my Malagasy friends and informants.’
    • ‘The lamba hearty, then, continues to be a means of signaling a distinct Malagasy identity, within Madagascar and abroad.’
    • ‘They have in-depth understanding of the subject matter and solid mastering of the Malagasy language including its spelling, grammar, and cultural appropriateness.’
    • ‘The Malagasy language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian family of languages.’
    • ‘Up to 7 species of Malagasy warblers may co-occur at the same site; up to 5-6 can be in the same mixed species flock.’
    • ‘The locals renamed their nation the Malagasy Republic, and elected Philibert Tsiranana President.’
    • ‘Its vocabulary is mostly French, with a few Malagasy, Bantu, English, and Hindi words.’
    • ‘Like many Malagasy musicians, he was exposed to numerous divergent musical influences from within Madagascar and Africa in general.’
    • ‘Several Malagasy doctors and theological professors have served and are serving as missionaries in Cameroon and Papua New Guinea.’
    • ‘The flowers are usually identified as poinsettia, which in the Malagasy language is Madagasikara, the local name for Madagascar.’
    • ‘Worn this way, it becomes a decorative accessory essential to one's highland Malagasy identity.’
    • ‘Onshore, scout for lemurs in the rainforest with Malagasy guides.’
    • ‘Visitors who linger in Madagascar often come to view even ominous setbacks with a Malagasy nonchalance.’
    • ‘A glossary of Malagasy terms and the bibliography at the end of the book are a gold mine for anyone wishing to learn more about the material culture of Madagascar.’
    • ‘But spontaneous violence does not appear to be part of the Malagasy way.’
    • ‘The effect is that of a sophisticated and exotic storytelling folk music sung in the Malagasy language.’
    • ‘Mahore identity is based on Comorian, Malagasy, French, and Creole cultural traits.’


Variant of Madagascar; earlier forms included Malegass, Madegass, because of dialect division between the sounds -l- and -d-.